I asked local political parties to put community before party on Wednesday.
I asked them to adopt a code of ethics, demanding vigorous factual debate while refraining from misleading campaign literature, social media and advertising.
After the ugliness in Queensbury, it is what is needed.
It is what is necessary.
I’ll go further and argue it was the message voters sent to Queensbury Republicans on Election Day.
For me, my suggestion was a desperation plea for a commitment to the highest ideals of our democracy. It was a chance to start something here in our community that is right and good and contrary to everything we are seeing nationally.
At 8:35 on Wednesday morning, Mike Parwana, the chairman of the Queensbury Democrats, wrote me this message: “I believe that I speak for everyone on our committee when I say that we have no problem with your proposed pledge.”
That evening, the Queensbury Democrats adopted a code of ethics for their committee and their candidates.
And they didn’t stop there.
A robust debate ensued about whether they should ban all negative attacks during campaigns.
It was a beginning, and a long overdue discussion that should be taking place among all political insiders.
It is the first step in citizens taking back their town from the political bad guys.
I’m hoping we will hear from the Greens and Conservatives next and they will follow suit.
We did hear from Warren County Republican Chairman Michael Grasso, who said any type of ethics policy was unnecessary.
He said the party already stood for honesty and ethical behavior.
That statement is stunning in its absurdity.
It was as if the email controversy in Queensbury never happened. Perhaps Grasso forgot about how his party orchestrated a change in the town of Queensbury’s legal representation so the law firm of one of the party’s officers could get the business.
Perhaps he forgot about the email conversation he initiated in which a plan was hatched to get the reluctant Republican Ward 1 candidate Hal Bain elected so Republicans could appoint someone else.
Perhaps, Grasso forgot about how the Republicans were hell-bent on revenge against fellow Republican Tony Metivier because he dared to cross the party leadership and vote his conscience.
This is an assault on the intelligence of every citizen in Queensbury.
And a continued assault on our local democracy.
What I want to know is whether Michael Grasso speaks for every Republican in Warren County.
Do all Republicans believe that the recent shenanigans in Queensbury were honest and ethical?
That’s not what the voters told us on Election Day.
There is a once-in-a generation opportunity to make a difference in our political system in this county.
To adopt ethical guidelines.
To demand a civil discourse.
And most of all, to insist our chosen leaders will choose community over party.
That needs to be heard from the local Republicans.
Obviously, Mike Grasso is not ready to do that.